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$6,148 pledged of $60,000 goal
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By Avantika - Diana - Jackie
$6,148 pledged of $60,000 goal
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About

AS SEEN ON BUZZFEED AND MSNBC:

Have you ever eaten Indian food and thought, "Wow, this food is so good that I wish I could hug it?" Well, now you can!

They're huggable sized Indian foods made from soft, fuzzy fabric. It's all the fun of hugging Indian foods without any of the food crumbs or grease you'd get from hugging real food. Perfect for all ages, Happy Bellies can accompany you on food outings or road trips, to movie theaters or to bed at night. If you're super interested in learning more, check out yourhappybellies.com.

Each Happy Belly character has its own character, complete with a personality and a history. Since India is made of many, many different regions with many, many different regional foods, each Happy Belly is part of a crew. We did this because, well, it’s good to have friends. They provide context to life, don’t you think?

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club meets up every morning to kick off the day. They all hail from southern India, and enjoy a good early morning banter over which south Indian state has the best variety of their respective foods. Meet the members (click the image for more information about each Happy Belly's character development):

Note: Images are not to scale. All photos are Creative Commons license. Dozing Dosa image'Lil Idlis imageAuntie and Uncle Vada image.

The Street Gang

The Street Gang can be found roaming the lanes and allies of the major Indian cities. They wake up around noon and are night owls, up until late in the evening. Meet the members (click the image for more information about each Happy Belly's character development):

Note: Images are not to scale. All photos are Creative Commons license. Superstar Samosa image; Jolly Jalebi image; The Pani Puris image.

Soft, stuffed toys

Each Happy Belly is made from fuzzy fabric, sewn and stuffed with soft stuffing. They're squishable, huggable, and cute, but not edible.

Fun AND educational!

Each Happy Belly character comes with 3 cards:

As engineers and designers, we care about precision. Each Happy Belly toy is designed as a scaled-up version of the real food. We used unreasonably precise measuring tools (like a dial caliper, accurate to .0005 inches) to measure each food item. 

Designs were then sketched out by hand and drawn up on the computer. For production, we are working with a Bangalore-based soft toy manufacturer. Two sets of samples have already been made, and we're ready for mass production!

A more detailed account of how we developed Happy Bellies is in this blog post about how Dozing Dosa came into being.

Happy Bellies come as individual toys or, better yet, in crews. Below are your reward options for getting your hands on one (or more) Happy Bellies.

LITTLES: A bit of memorabilia

If you don't want a Happy Belly but you'd like something to remember how cute or fun they are, we've got just the thing for you: keychains with a mini Happy Belly hanging on it! Final prototypes have yet to be made, but it'll look like the Happy Bellies, just smaller. Much smaller.

INDIVIDUALS: One for the road

For first level of Happy Belly rewards, you can get an individual character. Choose your favorite or let us surprise you!

CREWS: It's better when they're together

The next level of rewards is crews - a group of Happy Bellies that come as companions. Thus far we have revealed two crews that are available: The Breakfast Club and The Street Gang.

STRETCH: Unlocking the potential 

If we meet our goal, we will be introducing new crews and goodies to continue propelling Happy Bellies forward. The fun just keeps on coming! 

If you choose the "Gotta Catch 'Em All" reward (which has all the crews), then any new crews that are unlocked in stretch goals will be added to your oder. What a deal!

To promote Happy Bellies, we're traveling around the world, eating at Indian restaurants and food trucks. Follow our adventures on our blog!

Happy Bellies are designed and sold by Essmart, a social enterprise who's main mission is to increase technology access in rural India.

As part of Essmart's work in rural villages, we eat a lot of local foods. Several months back, a friend came to visit us and spent significant time wandering around the rural areas with us. Sometime during a breakfast in the middle of the trip, our friend exclaimed about a trio of idlis, “Aw, they look like little pillows!” Hence the idea for Happy Bellies was born. Happy Bellies are an additional (and fun!) product and revenue stream for Essmart, helping to support our work and impact.

More about Essmart:

Most life-changing technologies, like solar lanterns or water filters or reading glasses, are not available in the places where people need them the most. People don't know about these products or where to get them, and so they don't use them or benefit from them. Traditionally charity models of dumping these products in a community often don't result in long-term sustainable impact.

Essmart helps village-level mom-and-pop shops sell life-changing products. In India, these shops account for 90% of retail and are where most people buy their goods. When Essmart helps get life-changing goods into mom-and-pop shops, villagers can finally learn about and access these products during their normal shopping routines, and the mom-and-pop shops can improve their businesses in the process. Win-win!

Need help? Email us!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at yourhappybellies@gmail.com and we'll respond as soon as possible.

Press Requests

Do you want to write an article on Happy Bellies? If so, please email us at yourhappybellies@gmail.com and we'll send you our media kit and more details. Thanks for your interest!

Risks and challenges

For manufacturing, we are working with an established soft toy manufacturer in Bangalore. We have already worked with the manufacturer to produce two sets of prototypes. This has allowed us to assess the quality of the toys as well as how realistic time estimates are, so we can build in the appropriate time buffers. A successful campaign means that we will be producing thousands of toys, so we want to make sure we have the time to get you the best possible product!

We will be manufacturing in India and recognize that we will be shipping to some of you outside of India. We have already started looking into shipping options (both by exporting in bulk and by shipping individual parcels from India). Before we ship any products to you directly from India, we'll do a test run so that we can make sure your Happy Bellies will arrive safe and sound!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    YOU'RE THE BEST:
    Thank you! You get an email expressing our undying gratitude.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    HANGIN' OUT:
    A keychain with a single Happy Belly character mini stuffed toy. The character is randomly selected.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 26 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    SINGLE HAPPY BELLY, SURPRISE ME:
    One Happy Belly stuffed toy. The character is randomly selected for you - it'll be a surprise!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SINGLE HAPPY BELLY, I CHOOSE:
    One Happy Belly stuffed toy. You will receive a survey at close of campaign to choose which character you like the best!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $58 or more About $58

    THE BREAKFAST CLUB
    Dozing Dosa, Lil Idlis, and Auntie & Uncle Vada (3 Happy Bellies in total)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $58 or more About $58

    THE STREET CREW:
    Super Star Samosa, The Pani Puris, and Jolly Jalebi (3 Happy Bellies in total)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL, EARLY BIRD:
    All of the crews. This includes The Breakfast Club and The Street Gang (6 Happy Bellies in total), plus choose one of any crews that are revealed when we meet our stretch goals. This award gets sweeter as we go along!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL:
    All of the crews. This includes The Breakfast Club and The Street Gang (6 Happy Bellies in total), plus choose one of any crews that are revealed when we meet our stretch goals. This award gets sweeter as we go along!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    DOUBLE TROUBLE:
    2 x The Breakfast Club (6 Happy Bellies total)
    2 x The Street Gang (6 Happy Bellies total)
    2 x Choose one of any crews that are unveiled after we meet our goal
    10 x Keychains
    1,000 x our undying gratitude

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    FOUR OF EVERYTHING:
    4 x The Breakfast Club (12 Happy Bellies total)
    4 x The Street Gang (12 Happy Bellies total)
    4 x Choose one of any crews that are unveiled after we meet our goal
    40 x Keychains
    10,000 x our undying gratitude

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    TEN OF EVERYTHING:
    10 x The Breakfast Club (60 Happy Bellies total)
    10 x The Street Gang (60 Happy Bellies total)
    10 x Choose one of any crews that are unveiled after we meet our goal
    100 x Keychains
    1,000,000 x our undying gratitude

    Plus a food tour of south India during a visit to Essmart's field offices (plane tickets not included)

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Funding period

- (29 days)